Gun laws changing?
Some state lawmakers want to make it legal to carry a gun into schools-- even inside the state Capitol. That's just one part of a list measures easing gun restrictions that the National Rifle Association is pushing in Atlanta.
Schools, the Capitol, polling places, and bars, you could take guns in all of those places under this bill. But gun advocates are asking for much more than that.
It might seem strange to allow concealed weapons to be carried into government buildings like the Capitol, but that is what legislators are considering. Drew:
"Law enforcement officials, a lot of elected officials, a lot of appointed officials already carry firearms into government buildings. We are probably trying to get some parity between citizens and people who are appointed or elected," Steven Drew of Georgia Loan and Gun.
If House Bill 981 is passed, concealed weapons could be carried in schools, polling places, state government buildings, bars, and other venues.
Drew has been affiliated with the NRA for over thirty years. He says the Constitution should give him the same rights as officials. "If the law enforcement officials and the judges feel like it is a good idea for them to carry a gun. What Constructional right do they have greater than I have to protect myself at a venue that they forced me to be at."
Bills being considered by the General Assembly would also legalize hunting with silencers, prevent state agencies from regulating gun shows, stop law enforcement from disarming someone in a state of an emergency, and more.
"It's kind of a laundry list or wish list for pro fire arms legislation. It appears to be where you would ask for everything and settle for something less. I don't think it is possible for all of those things to pass the legislature."
As far as concealed weapons, Drew says the process of acquiring a concealed firearms license is so stringent that criminals would not tend to go through it.
"I think the statistics are about 98% of concealed carry holders in Georgia have never involved in any kind of criminal activity with a firearm."
He says that much of the Bill would streamline the wording of gun laws and pull back on over-regulation. The part of the bill dealing with firearms in a state of emergency stems from Hurricane Katrina when contracted officials responded when Federal aid was delayed.
The primary gun bill would also make it tougher to file lawsuits against gun makers.